Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sahara Update

Remember the "Sahara" that I was working on? I got as far as joining the front and back below the underarm (recall that I am working from top down), and started to do some of the waist shaping decreases so it was time to try it on and see how it is fitting. That's supposed to be one of the advantages of working top down.

I didn't really feel like doing this because for one, I had a good rhythm and momentum going and didn't want to stop. For two, I  knew it would be cold and I don't like to be cold.

As a way to force myself to do it anyway, I transfered all the stitches to waste yarn (because you can't try it on with the needle still in it). So now I couldn't knit on it until I had tried it on. The plan sort of worked because I sure didn't knit on it. But I didn't try it on either...for about two weeks. Poor Sahara.

In addition to the cold, I also had an issue of where to take the picture because all of my mirrors have unsightly things in the background. Then a day or two ago, I had a zinger of an idea, and that was enough to make me brave the cold, try it on, and even take some pictures.

There's not much to fitting the front yet since it's still open. But it looked and felt like it was right. You can see the bright yellow waste yarn I used to put the stitches on. (No mistaking that for the real yarn when I'm putting the stitches back on the needles!) And you can see my little yellow stitch marker (the half circle thing) which marks where I need to do the decreases. Stitch markers are one of those things I caught onto late in life because you can do without them, but it sure is easier with them. They sell fancy beautiful ones, but simple plastics rings are very cheap and there is no reason not have some if you're doing any kind of knitting more than a dishcloth. (And even then they might come in handy.)

I think the back looks a little more like the final product. It's hanging right, and fits over the shoulders. You'll see more waste yarn holding the stitches for the collar. (I think the pattern says to cast them off, but I always prefer to just put them on yarn and then knit them up in the collar. No rigid seam then--I prefer some stretch.) You can also see a couple more stitch markers, again for the decreases.

The knitted fabric felt really nice, and I'm glad I still really liked the colour after not having seen it in a while. (Sometimes you can fall in love at the store, but it's not lasting.)

Now that I am reassured about the fit and feel that I have "done the right thing" I can put those stitches back on the needle and get going again. Yeah! Also in the spirit of "doing things right" I am working from two different balls. Hand-dyed yarns can vary from ball to ball quite a bit even when they're marked as coming from the same dye lot. These look pretty close, but just in case, I am knitting 2 rows with one ball and the next 2 with another. Then if the balls vary, it still makes an overall pattern and colour impression and your sweater isn't splotchy.

All for now,

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